Dundee 2
Ayr United 0
League (Championship)

2 - 0
Ayr Utd 

League (Championship)
Tuesday, March 10th, 2020
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,670
7:45 PM Kick-off

Kane Hemmings (11)
Ollie Crankshaw (92)

Team Managers
James McPake
Mark Kerr

Starting Eleven
36. Conor Hazard
7. Christophe Berra
16. Christie Elliott
5. Jordon Forster
6. Josh Meekings
8. Shaun Byrne
14. Graham Dorrans
11. Declan McDaid
10. Paul McGowan
28. Kane Hemmings
9. Andrew Nelson
Ross Doohan .1
Jordan Houston .14
Steven Bell .15
Sam Roscoe .5
Daniel Harvie .3
Stephen Kelly .30
Aaron Muirhead .2
Connor Malley .8
Michael Moffat .7
Scott Tiffoney .12
Aaron Drinan .16

30. Harrison Sharp
15. Tom Field
2. Cammy Kerr
25. Lyall Cameron
17. Ollie Crankshaw
4. Jamie Ness
19. Finlay Robertson
Ellis Hare-Reid .19
Finn Ecrepont .21
Ross Docherty .23
Grant Gillespie .28
Mark Kerr .4
Alan Forrest .10
Luke McCowan .11

Ollie Crankshaw for Andrew Nelson (73)
Finlay Robertson for Paul McGowan (78)
Jamie Ness for Kane Hemmings (94)
Grant Gillespie for Aaron Muirhead (32)
Mark Kerr for Connor Malley (62)
Luke McCowan for Scott Tiffoney (69)

Josh Meekings (45)
Aaron Muirhead (24)
Jordan Houston (59)
Stephen Kelly (88)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

John Beaton (Referee)
Graham McNellie & Jonathan Bell (Assistants)

Match Report

Dundee completed the two match head to head against Ayr United with a fine 2-0 win at the Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park. Kane Hemmings gave the Dark Blues an early lead and Oliver Crankshaw came off the bench to secure the points with his first goal for the club. The visitors had chances in the first half but after the interval Dundee controlled the game. All the second half excitement was in Ayr’s penalty area but the Dee had to wait until injury time for the second goal.

There were two changes to the Dark Blue line up. Christie Elliott and Andrew Nelson started after coming off the bench on Saturday; Cammy Kerr was a substitute and Jordan McGhee injured. Ayr’s only change was Scott Tiffoney replacing Alan Forrest.

Dundee got off to a fast, aggressive start, playing at a high tempo. The midfield was trying adventurous passes and the strikers were moving well, putting Ayr under pressure.

The opening goal saw the ball zipping from the Dee penalty area to Ayr’s net in only a few seconds. Conor Hazard lashed a passback through the middle of the park with a lower trajectory than usual. In the centre circle Paul McGowan cleverly flicked the ball on, sending Kane HEMMINGS clear. Dundee’s top scorer raced away to shoot past the advancing Ross Doohan from the edge of the penalty area.

The Dark Blues were well worth their lead and pushed on for a second goal. Dundee were snapping into their challenges forcing Ayr onto the back foot. Graham Dorrans saw his chip from 18 yards drift over the crossbar.

The visitors gradually started to regain their composure and play some dangerous football, trying to get behind the Dundee wing backs and pull the centre backs out of position. From one such move Aaron Drinan stabbed a cutback from Scott Tiffoney a foot over the bar.

Both teams had narrow escapes from corners in quick succession. Doohan failed to take Declan McDaid’s corner, almost under the crossbar. Sam Roscoe cleared off the line from Christophe Berra and Ayr escaped in the ensuing stramash. At the other end Aaron Muirhead sent a glancing header from the corner against the inside of the post and this time it was Dundee who were relieved to scramble the ball clear.

Dundee’s lead looked fragile for a while and Tiffoney forced a full length save from Hazard with a curling shot. However, the Dark Blues finished an entertaining half on the attack but without posing any real threat to Ayr’s goal.

The Dee started the second half as they had finished the first, but there was added edge to their attacks. McGowan sent in a neat backheader from a McDaid cross but it was too close to the keeper. Six yards from goal Andrew Nelson spun on a Hemmings cross but a desperate block deflected the shot wide.

Ayr were always keen to try and play out from the back and Dundee responded with energetic pressing that continually forced mistakes. Ayr persevered, riding their luck, which didn’t run out until injury time.

All the serious play was heading towards Ayr’s goal but the lack of action around the Dundee goal was noteworthy. The visitors had exploited space out wide in the first half. That tactic was firmly closed down in the second half. The wing backs were never caught out, timing their forward runs well, and the centre backs bossed Ayr’s attacks. Conor Hazard didn’t need to make a save in a second half in which Ayr did not have a single chance.

Doohan in the Ayr goal was having a far more taxing evening. After failing to collect a Dorrans corner he made a point blank save from Nelson’s header, with the ball looping up and landing just the wrong side of the crossbar. Nelson then caught Daniel Harvie dawdling in possession in front of goal, but the broke kindly off the Dee striker and out for a goal kick.

Ayr had used all their substitutions in a vain attempt to change the game before James McPake sent on the first of Dundee’s subs. Ollie Crankshaw came on for Andrew Nelson, and was inches away from a goal only a minute later. Hemmings took advantage of Jordan Houston’s slip to race down the left and fire over a low cross that Crankshaw couldn’t quite reach for a tap in at the far post.

The visitors became increasingly untidy as they tried unsuccessfully to make headway towards Dundee’s goal and simply opened up space for Dundee to exploit. Comical defending gifted the Dee a corner from which Jordon Forster’s header was turned over his own bar by Michael Moffat.

In the last few minutes all the goal threat was coming from the Dark Blues and Shaun Byrne dribbled to the byline before cutting the ball back for Ollie Crankshaw whose close range shot was blocked.

In injury time Dundee kept the ball patiently and safely deep in Ayr’s half. When Ayr did get possession they could hardly have made worse use of it. Their attempt to pass their way forward in the face of determined Dee pressing resulted in Mark Kerr sending a wild and wayward pass to Graham Dorrans who ran in on goal, drew the keeper and set up Ollie CRANKSHAW to slam home the second goal.

A single goal lead is never truly comfortable, but Dundee always looked secure in an impressive second half, and were much the more dangerous team as the clock wound down. A second goal for the Dee was far more likely than an equaliser for Ayr, and it was richly deserved when it arrived.

Ayr showed in the first half that they are a good side and caused Dundee problems with some clever football. The threat was snuffed out in a second half in which Dundee managed the neat trick of becoming increasingly secure at the back whilst being more dangerous in attack. This was a fine performance, with every part of the team stepping up to the challenge.

The Dark Blues are at last finding some consistency and have now gone six matches undefeated with five successive clean sheets. That is the way to build momentum for the season’s run in.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website.

Squad Statistics (as at March 10th, 2020)

2019-20 All Time
Conor Hazard (GK)22 11 - 11 -
Christophe Berra35 6 - 6 -
Christie Elliott28 6 - 6 -
Jordon Forster26 271271
Josh Meekings27 21 - 53 -
Shaun Byrne26 29 - 29 -
Graham Dorrans32 231231
Declan McDaid24 313313
Paul McGowan32 31421715
Kane Hemmings28 27107138
Andrew Nelson22 254398
Ollie Crankshaw (sub)21 6161
Finlay Robertson (sub)17 21 - 22 -
Jamie Ness (sub)29 131131

League Table (as at March 10th, 2020)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Dundee Utd 28 18 5 5 +30 59
2. Inverness CT 28 14 3 11 +5 45
3. Dundee 27 11 8 8 +1 41
4. Ayr Utd 27 12 4 11 +3 40
5. Dunfermline 28 10 7 11 +5 37
6. Arbroath 26 10 6 10 -1 36
7. Morton 28 10 6 12 -7 36
8. Alloa 28 7 10 11 -10 31
9. Queen of South 27 7 7 13 -11 28
10. Partick 27 6 8 13 -15 26

Manager's Programme Notes

Good evening and welcome to the Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park for tonight's Ladbrokes Championship match against Ayr United.

Welcome to Mark Kerr, his backroom staff and both sets of supporters.

It's an unusual one tonight facing Ayr again having just played them at the weekend.

It will be a different game tonight as the conditions on Saturday were terrible and made it difficult for both teams. The pitch had been played on four days before and the heavy rain really didn't help.

You are never happy with a point and performance wise I think it was night and day from the previous Tuesday night against Alloa.

They were two very different goalless games. Sometime you have to roll the sleeves up and I thought we had won. it when Kano's shot went just wide at the end,

In truth we didn't make them defend enough throughout the match but we looked solid enough again as a team apart from a few wee errors.

The clean sheets have been a huge positive over the last four matches. We are back to being solid as a team and I think we have added a side to the team in recent weeks that has made us horrible to play against times.

Last time out at Dens it was great to see the fans react to the team's performance. There was a real atmosphere back and that was due to the players giving everything.

We'll be right up for it again tonight to try get a result to continue the good form of recent weeks.